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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Left Coast Ignorance and Apathy

In the old joke, one guy asks, "Which is worse: ignorance or apathy?"  The other guy answers: "I don't know and I don't care."  California is the other guy.

Sometimes political activists observe that many California voters don't even know that there is an election going on.  That's not just a whine, it's a verifiable datum.  Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross report at The San Francisco Chronicle:
Here’s an eye-opener: With the election Tuesday, a whopping 4 out of 10 voters don’t even know Gov. Jerry Brown is running for another term.
“Isn’t that astonishing?” said David Metz of the polling firm Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz and Associates.
Metz included the question, “As far as you know, is Gov. Jerry Brown up for re-election this year?” on a statewide survey of 457 likely voters last week.
Metz said the question was prompted by several casual conversations he’d had with people not involved in politics. “I was struck by how many of them were totally unaware that Brown was up for re-election, so I decided to test it out,” he said.
The findings: Forty-two percent of likely voters didn’t know Brown was running — and only about 1 in 5 could name Republican Neel Kashkari as his opponent.
The lack of awareness cut across all voter groups and party lines.

At the Sacramento Bee,Christopher Cadelago describes the result:
California voter turnout will likely sink to just 46 percent on Tuesday, a new record for apathy in a statewide general election, according to Field Poll estimates.
The absence of competitive statewide contests combined with a dearth of compelling ballot propositions should produce the least attended general election in the state’s modern era, replacing the previous low of 50.6 percent in 2002, when incumbent Democratic Gov. Gray Davis held off Republican Bill Simon.
“It’s going to be a record low, and by quite some margin,” said Mark DiCamillo, director of the poll. “This is really a sad news story for the state.”
Released on Monday, the survey anticipates 8.2 million of the state’s nearly 18 million registered voters will cast a ballot. That means less than 34 percent of the state’s 24.3 million adults who are eligible to register will cast ballots, again demonstrating that Californians are even less engaged in nonpresidential elections.
Read more here: